Bold is back: McLaren's 2021 Monaco surprise unveiled

McLaren have unveiled a visually stunning new video to launch their new race car livery for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.

Picture: Copyright McLaren

Bold is back

They’ve been dropping ‘Bold is back’ Tweets for a week now, but McLaren have finally shared a launch video that made our jaws drop - take a look at their video below to see what's got us all excited.


It’s worth stating, before we get into it, that McLaren clearly have some of the best social media and marketing people of all the F1 teams, as their branding, imagery, and designs are on point every time, and they really do know how to engage with their fans. As I type this the livery launch video has been up just one hour and already has 180 thousand views.

The video starts with Lando Norris sitting quietly in the McLaren garage as he preps for the race, visualising the turns around the famous Monte Carlo street circuit. He’s distracted by the burst of an engine firing up, and we’re treated to a glimpse of a car. As he heads towards it, surrounded by moody lighting, he reaches out to touch the hood of the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, bearing the previous GulfxMcLaren branding. As his fingers brush the car the lights dim and we cut to him sat watching a reel of flickering film showing McLaren’s past races in Monaco with Gulf, and finally the most recent time out at Monaco (hard to believe that was all the way back in 2019) in the familiar papaya car. The film reel ends, catching fire.


The camera gives us a glimpse of Lando’s determined expression, followed by a shot of him moving towards a folded race suit bearing the familiar GulfxMcLaren livery and Lando’s car number four on the back. The music swells as we see him don the suit, pull on his gloves, and suddenly sparks are flying as the camera zooms towards the freshly dressed MCL35M in its pale blue and papaya GulfxMcLaren colours. 


Lando walks towards the car, pulls on his helmet (will we see a Lando custom lid at Monaco too?) and he’s in the car and racing, with lights flashing across his visor. Bold is back, indeed. 


Gulf have been a McLaren sponsor off and on since 1968, continuing until the end of the 1973 season, finding success in both F1 and the Can-Am series with over 40 race wins. They later reunited at Le Mans 24, and ran in the Gulf colours throughout the 1990s. Midway through the 2020 season, Gulf and the McLaren F1 team joined forces again, resulting in this fantastic display for the 2021 race around Monte Carlo. 


The new livery is an obvious call-back to designs of the past, and looks fantastic on the new car, but this new colour scheme will be a one-off, just for Monaco. We can’t wait to see Lando and Daniel in their classic race suits next weekend, and are excited to see the Gulf x McLaren car on track. Given the flair and style of Monaco, and the pageantry of every race there, they couldn’t have picked a better way to honour their partnership.